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Centre for Suicide Research | Professor Mark Williams | Wellcome Trust Research Programme | Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy | Further information on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy |



Further information on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

MBCT was designed to be used to prevent relapse and recurrence of depression in those who are in recovery. If you want to learn more about the use of the mindfulness approach for people who remain vulnerable to depression, the approach is described in Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale’s book (Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G., & Teasdale, J.D. (2002) Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: a new approach to preventing relapse. Guilford Publications, New York.) Written in a practical and accessible manner, it tells the story of how the authors came to develop MBCT using clinical transcripts that bring to life the challenges and promise of the approach.

Segal et al, 2002 (chapter 15), also gives a number of recommendations for those who wish to learn more about mindfulness meditation in healthcare, and some of these are summarised here.

Jon-Kabat-Zinn's own book, Full Catastrophe Living (1990; New York: Delacorte) describes the UMass Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program in a very engaging way. It is an excellent introduction to clinical applications of mindfulness training (e.g. chronic pain, anxiety, stress-related physical illness) and is essential reading for anyone wishing to explore this approach further. This book is an important resource that is used in the MBCT program.

Jon Kabat-Zinn has also written Wherever you go, there you are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life. (1994; New York: Hyperion, published in the UK as "Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life"). This is a book that conveys the spirit of bringing mindfulness to everyday experience, together with suggestions for practice.

Another excellent source for a more detailed description of insight meditation, the tradition from which clinical applications of mindfulness are most directly derived, is "Seeking the Heart of Wisdom : The Path of Insight Meditation" by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield (1987; Boston: Shambala).


And if you decide you would actually like directly to sample the practice of mindfulness?

There are many different forms of meditation. It is therefore important to choose a tradition and teacher that are compatible in spirit and form with the MBCT program. In practice, this is likely to mean exploring the teachings offered by centres related to the westernised insight meditation tradition. Information about these centres can be obtained from Gaia House, West Ogwell, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6EN, UK. Information on where there are other such centres worldwide is available, directly or via links, from www.dharma.org.

Training in Mindfulness-based approaches in healthcare, including an introduction to MBCT, is offered at the University of Wales, Bangor. See www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness for details.

Finally, the material that is actually used in the MBCT program can be used to provide both an excellent introduction to meditation practice, as well as direct sampling of the exercises that were used for the patients in the research program described earlier. The tapes come in two series, both recorded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Series One consists of two 45 minute tapes (also used on the University of Massachusetts Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program) that narrate a guided body scan, a guided meditation on the breath, body, sounds, thoughts, and choice less awareness, together with two different sessions of guided mindful hatha yoga. Series Two consists of five tapes (each from 10 to 30 minutes long) specifically designed for those with a more general (rather than clinical) interest in learning mindfulness meditation. Both series can be ordered from: Stress Reduction Tapes, P.O. Box 547, Lexington, MA 02420, USA; or from the website: www.stressreductiontapes.com.


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